Historical Musicology

Historical musicology at Florida State ranges broadly across the discipline, incorporating all the major periods of Western history. Studies in this part of the Musicology area extend to close interaction with ethnomusicology. Historical studies also incorporate performance through the area's own Early Music Ensembles and with the benefits of one of the largest and most comprehensive music programs in the United States.

The faculty in historical musicology comprises a group of outstanding scholars, recognized throughout the nation and the world as top-rank experts in their field. Their work includes studies of historical sources, scholarly editing, performance practice, biography, the history of institutions and social structures, and approaches to critical interpretation including feminist scholarship, musical narratology, and ecocriticism.


Historical Musicology Resources

The Warren D. Allen Music Library provides an outstanding research facility, with excellent coverage of the scholarly editions of music, all major reference tools, a large open-stack collection of books and scores, plus recordings, facsimiles, a complete microfilm collection of German treatises, and one of the largest collections of first edition music treatises of any library in the country. The Special Collections include many primary sources, from original sources for music, to a major collection of historical treatises, to rare recordings, to early popular sheet music. 

The College of Music collections of historical instruments include a number of medieval instruments, chests of Renaissance instruments of all families, instruments for a complete Baroque orchestra, original nineteenth-century band instruments, and various keyboards. Of course, musicologists can avail themselves of all the performance opportunities of the College's comprehensive performance programs.

Graduate students in the Master of Music in Historical Musicology and the Ph.D. in Musicology with emphasis in historical musicology have written theses and dissertations, presented papers at scholarly conferences, and published on a wide range of topics. In addition to pursuing their own research, students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on important papers, books, and articles. Doctoral students gain valuable experience teaching a full range of undergraduate core courses for music majors and general University students, so that they have several years of classroom experience to bring to their first faculty positions. Our alumni can be found on university faculties from Florida to Idaho, from Texas to Massachusetts, and many places between.

The Society for Musicology is a student-run organization of all musicology students, both historical and ethno, that sponsors events throughout the academic year to address the interests and concerns of the members. Activities in recent years include:

  • trial paper presentations for students whose papers will be presented at professional conferences; this enables the students to test their papers on a “friendly” audience.
  • mock job interviews
  • workshops on writing CVs and cover letters
  • special session on how to teach listening in music lit. and history classes
  • how to make up exams


Legacy Sort
Legacy Priority